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Spanish Lessons That Might Take January 28, 2010

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Books, Brilliant words, Japan.

I have unsuccessfully fought a battle to teach myself Japanese for years, with little success.  It may be that Japanese is just too different for a man of my advanced years (i.e., not a teenager) to master or retain, or maybe I haven’t had enough exposure.  I used to use Paul Pimsleur’s language instruction course for this (available at my local library), but I find I have trouble remembering simple things even now.
This may have changed.  My oldest stepdaughter needs two years of language credit to get into Cal, so I have been looking for ways to cram a lot of Spanish into her head before next year, when she must take the classes she needs.  I stumbled across Spanish With Michel Thomas (Deluxe Language Courses with Michel Thomas) and was impressed by how quickly he could get children to learn several Spanish phrases.  I obtained the recordings and started listening to them during my commute.  I liked what I heard so well I started supplementing that learning with a basic vocabulary text I found on Google, but finally bought on Amazon.

Then I looked into Michel Thomas, and found an interesting story:

He was the sole survivor of not one but three concentration camps in World War II; he talked his way out of being executed by Gestapo chieftain Klaus Barbie; he helped liberate Dachau; he rescued 40 tons of Nazi dossiers on the verge of destruction in Munich; he hobnobbed with princes and seduced starlets; he dropped acid in 1958 as part of a pioneering drug experiment; he beat the slot machines in Monaco.

Oh, and his New York and Beverly Hills language schools can teach anyone a foreign tongue in just three days.”

Yeah.  I don’t necessarily believe it either, but it’s a great story, isn’t it?

What else matters?


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